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High Peak Borough Council Condemns Pride Display Destruction

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Pride month is observed in June and celebrates the LGBTQIA+ community and their achievements while advocating for equality and promoting awareness of the challenges they still face. LGBTQIA+ culture is also celebrated, and the Pride flag is the main way people and organisations demonstrate their support.

High Peak Borough Council unveiled a Pride flag, but this was taken from the pole and burned. Bunting was also ripped from notice boards and discarded in the river below.

The importance of Pride

Pride Month originated from the commemoration of the Stonewall Riots, which took place in June 1969. These riots were a pivotal moment in the LGBTQ+ rights movement in the United States and marked a turning point in the fight for equality.

Pride Month therefore serves as a reminder of the struggles, sacrifices, and progress made by the LGBTQIA+ community throughout history, as well as a time of celebration and raising awareness.

The Pride flag celebrates and embraces the diversity of sexual orientations, gender identities, and expressions within the LGBTQIA+ sphere. It serves as a visible symbol of solidarity, pride, and unity, reminding individuals that they are part of a community that welcomes and accepts them for who they are.

Displays of Pride flags demonstrate progression towards advocating for equal rights, breaking down barriers and widening the scope for acceptance and inclusivity. Its vibrancy provides an appealing visual aspect, as the colours of the flag represents the spirit and resilience of the LGBTQIA+ community. 

Council Response

Vandalism of the Pride flag and bunting at the Memorial Park in Whaley Bridge has been strongly condemned by the Borough Council. Councillor Damien Greenhalgh, Deputy Leader and Executive Councillor for Regeneration, Tourism and Leisure, said: “It’s so disappointing and frustrating to see these items targeted for vandalism in this way. Whilst it is a minority of a minority that carry out hate crimes such as this, their actions won’t be tolerated and this incident has been reported to the Police.

“High Peak is a place where everyone is welcome and, during Pride month, we’re proud to support the LGBTQ+ community with this visual display. Sadly, the damage that’s occurred in the Memorial Park only demonstrates why it continues to be necessary and visibility is still a frightening prospect for many.

“But we will not be deterred and, I’m delighted to say that, thanks to the quick actions of our fantastic park ranger Trefor Jones, the flag and bunting were all replaced the following day and we are proud that our support is, once again, plain to see.”

The destruction of a Pride display was also shown in Ockbrook and Borrowash Parish earlier this month where the day after a Pride flag was put up, the flag was stolen. This was described by the council as an “appalling” and “sick” act.

Final thought

The destruction of the Pride flag in High Peak Borough Council shows how discrimination is still rife within society against LGBTQIA+ people. The fight for acceptance is far from over as attacks still occur. This has also been demonstrated by the levels of hate and violence against transgender people. LGBTQIA+ communities need to be protected.

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